Abbildungen der Seite

sidering the spaciousness of the place. The Bay itself, although report goes it is full, and can hardly entertain any more, yet there are but few towns but are able to receive more than they have already, and to accommodate them in a comfortable measure.

The northern plantations, and eastern, as Puscataway, would not bje,neglected; they are desirable places, and lie in the heart of fishing. Puscataway is a river navigable for a ship of a hundred tons some six leagues up. With boats and pinnaces you may go a great way further. It is the only key of the country for safety. With twelve pieces of ordnance, will keep out all the enemies in the world. The mouth of the river is narrow, lies full upon the southeast sea; so as there is no anchoring without, except you hazard ship and men. It is accommodated with a good soil, abundance of good timber; meadows are not wanting to the place. Pity it is it hath been so long neglected.

Augumeaticus is a place of good accommodation; it lies five miles from Puscataway river, where Sir Ferdinando Gorge hath a house. It is a place worthy to be inhabited, a soil that bears good corn, all sorts of grain, flax, hemp, the country generally will afford. There was grown in Puscataway the last year, and in the Bay, as good English grain as can grow in any part of the world. Casko hath a famous bay, accommodated with a hundred islands, and is fit for plantation, and hath a river belonging to it, which doth afford fish in abundance, fowl also in great measure. So full of fowl it is, that strangers may be supplied with variety of fowl in an hour or two after their arrival, which knew not how to be relieved before. Because the place in general is so famous, and well known to all the world, and chiefly to our English nation (the most noblest of this Commonwealth), I therefore forbear many particulars which yet might be expressed. And in regard of many aspersions hath been cast upon all the country, that it is a hard and difficult place for to subsist in, and that the soil is barren, and bears little that is good, and that it can hardly receive more people than those that are there, I will presume to make a second digression from the former matter, to the end I might encourage such as desire to plant there.

There are certain plantations, Dedham, Concord, in the Mathethusis Bay, that are newly erected, that do afford large accommodation, and will contain abundance of people. But I cease to spend time in matters of this nature, since my discourse tends to warlike story. But I crave pardon for my digression.

I told you before, that when the Pequeats heard and saw Seabrooke fort was supplied, they forbore to visit us. But the old serpent, according to his first malice, stirred them up against the church of Christ, and in such a furious manner, as our people were so far disturbed and affrighted with their boldness that they scarce durst rest in their beds; threatening persons and cattle to take them, as indeed they did. So insolent were these wicked imps grown, that like the devil, their commander, they run up and down as roaring lions, compassing all corners of the country for a prey, seeking whom they might devour. It being death to them for to rest without some wicked employment or other, they still plotted how they might wickedly attempt some bloody enterprise upon our poor native countrymen.

One Master Tilly, master of a vessel, being brought to an anchor in Conetticot river, went ashore, not suspecting the bloody-mindedness of those persons, who fell upon him and a man with him, whom they wickedly and barbarously slew; and, by relation, brought him home, tied him to a stake, flayed his skin off, put hot embers between the flesh and the skin, cut off his fingers and toes, and made hatbands of them; thus barbarous was their cruelty! Would not this have moved the hearts of men to hazard blood, and life, and all they had, to overcome such a wicked, insolent nation? But letters coming into the Bay, that this attempt was made upon Wethersfield in Conetticot river, and that they had slain nine men, women and children, and taken two maids captives, the council gave order to send supply. In the mean while the Conetticot plantations sent down one hundred armed soldiers, under the conduct of Captain John Mason, and Lieutenant Seily, with other inferior officers, who by commission were bound for to come to rendezvous at Seabrooke fort, and there to consult with those that had command there, to enterprise some stratagem upon these bloody Indians. The Conetticot company having with them threescore Mohiggeners, whom the Pequeats had drove out of their lawful possessions, these Indians were earnest to join with the English, or at least to be under their conduct, that they might revenge themselves of those bloody enemies of theirs. The English, perceiving their earnest desire that way, gave them liberty to follow the company, but not to join in confederation with them; the Indians promising to be faithful, and to do them what service lay in their power. But having embarked their men, and coming down the river, there arose great jealousy in the hearts of those that had chief oversight of the company, fearing that the Indians in time of greatest trial might revolt, and turn their backs against those they professed to be their friends, and join with the Pequeats. This perplexed the hearts of many very much, because they had had no experience of their fidelity. But Captain Mason having sent down a shallop to Seybrooke fort, and sent the Indians over land to meet and rendezvous at Seabrooke fort, themselves came down in a great massy vessel, which was slow in coming, and very long detained by cross winds. The Indians coming to Seabrooke, were desirous to fall out on the Lord's day, to see whether they could find any Pequeats near the fort; persuading themselves that the place was not destitute of some of their enemies. But it fteing the Lord's day, order was given to the contrary, and wished them to forbear until the next day. Giving them liberty, they fell out early in the morning, and brought home five Pequeats' heads, one prisoner, and mortally wounded the seventh. This mightily encouraged the hearts of all, and we took this as a pledge of their further fidelity. Myself taking boat, rowed up to meet the rest of the forces. Lying aboard the vessel with my boat, the minister, one Master Stone, that was sent to instruct the company, was then in prayer solemnly before God, in the midst of the soldiers ; and this passage worthy observation I set down, because the providence of God might be taken notice of, and his name glorified, that is so ready for to honor his own ordinance. The hearts of all in general being much perplexed, fearing the infidelity of these Indians, having not heard what an exploit they had wrought, it pleased God to put into the heart of Master Stone this passage in prayer, while myself lay under the vessel and heard it, himself not knowing that God had sent him a messenger to tell him his prayer was granted. 0 Lord God, if it be thy blessed will, vouchsafe so much favor to thy poor distressed servants, as to manifest one pledge of thy love, that may confirm us of the fidelity of these Indians towards us, that now pretend friendship and service to us, that our hearts may be encouraged the more in this work of thine. Immediately myself stepping up, told him that God had answered his desire, and that I had brought him this news, that those Indians had brought in five Pequeats' heads, one prisoner, and wounded one mortally; which did much encourage the hearts of all, and replenished them exceedingly, and gave them all occasion to rejoice and be thankful to God. A little before we set forth, came a certain ship from the Dutch plantation. Casting an anchor under the command of our ordnance, we desired the master to come ashore. The master and merchant, willing to answer our expectation, came forth, and sitting with us awhile unexpectedly revealed their intent, that they were bound for Pequeat river to trade. Ourselves knowing the custom of war, that it was not the practice, in a case of this nature, to suffer others to go and trade with them our enemies, with such commodities as might be prejudicial unto us, and advantageous to them, as kettles, or the like, which make them arrow-heads, we gave command to them not to stir, alleging that our forces were intended daily to fall upon them. This being unkindly taken, it bred some agitations between their several commanders; but God was pleased, out of his love, to carry things in such a sweet, moderate way, as all turned to his glory, and his people's good.

These men, seeing they could not have liberty to go upon their design, gave us a note under their hands, that if we would give them liberty to depart, they would endeavor, to the utmost of their ability, to release those two captive maids, and this should be the chief scope and drift of their design. Having these promises, depending upon their faithfulness, we gave them liberty. They set sail and went to Pequeat river, and sent to shore the master of the vessel to Sasacoose, their prince, for to crave liberty to trade; and what would they trade for but the English maids? which he much disliked. Suddenly withdrawing himself he returned back to the vessel, and by way of policy allured seven Indians into the bark, some of them being their prime men. Having them aboard, acquainted them with their intent, and told them without they might have the two captives delivered safely aboard, they must keep them as prisoners and pledges, and therefore must resolve not to go ashore, until such time they had treated with the sagamore. One of the Dutch called to them on the shore, and told them they must bring the two captive maids, if they would have the seven Indians ; and therefore, briefly, if you will bring them, tell us ; if not, we set sail, and will turn all your Indians overboard in the main ocean, so soon as ever we come out. They taking this to be a jest, slighted what was said unto them. They weighing anchor set sail, and drew near the mouth of the river. The Pequeats then discerned they were in earnest, and earnestly desired them to return and come to an anchor, and they would answer their expectation. So they brought the two maids, and delivered them safely aboard, and they returned to them the seven Indians. Then they set sail and came to Seabrooke fort. Bringing them to Seabrooke fort, request was made to have them ashore. But in regard of the Dutch governor's desire, who had heard that there was two English maids taken captives of the Pequeats, and thinking his own vessel to be there a trading with them, he had managed out a pinnace purposely, to give strict order and command to the former vessel to get these captives, what charge soever they were at, nay, though they did hazard their peace with them, and to gratify him with the first sight of them after their deliverance. So they earnestly entreated us that they might not be brought ashore so as to stay there, or to be sent home until they had followed the governor's order ; which willingly was granted to them, though it were thirty leagues from us ; yet were they safely returned again, and brought home to their friends. Now for the examination of the two maids after they arrived at Seabrooke fort. The eldest of them was about sixteen years of age. Demanding of her how they had used her, she told us that they did solicit her to uncleanness; but her heart being much broken, and afflicted under that bondage she was cast in, had brought to her consideration these thoughts—How shall I commit this great evil and sin against my God? Their hearts were much taken up with the consideration of God's just displeasure to them, that had lived under so prudent means of grace as they did, and had been so ungrateful toward God, and slighted that means, so that God's hand was justly upon them for their remissness in all their ways. Thus was their

« ZurückWeiter »